Kuwait resumes direct flights with 12 countries

Kuwait resumes direct flights with 12 countries
Kuwait banned the entry of non-citizens in February. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 July 2021

Kuwait resumes direct flights with 12 countries

Kuwait resumes direct flights with 12 countries
  • Countries include U.S., U.K., Spain, Italy and France
  • Non-citizens who have been fully vaccinated can enter Kuwait from August

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait has resumed direct flights with 12 countries that were halted to restrict the spread of COVID-19, KUNA reported.

The Kuwaiti Cabinet said on Monday that it would allow direct flights to the U.K., Spain, the U.S., the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, France, Kyrgyzstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Greece and Switzerland as of July 1.

Decisions to suspend and resume direct flights to some countries are based on the instructions of the Kuwaiti health authorities and other commercial ones related to the airlines, said Deputy Director General for Planning Projects at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Saad Al-Otaibi, according to the state news agency.

The operating capacity of incoming flights at Kuwait International Airport has reached approximately 3,500 passengers per day, he said.

Citizens will not be allowed to travel outside the country unless they have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine approved by the state.

Kuwait said on June 16 it would allow foreigners who have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus to enter the country from August 1.

The Gulf country in February banned the entry of non-citizens in a bid to limit the spread of the virus, but has started to ease some of its Covid-19 restrictions in recent weeks.


Telecom Zain KSA profits drop 36% for first 9 months of 2021

Telecom Zain KSA profits drop 36% for first 9 months of 2021
Updated 3 min 54 sec ago

Telecom Zain KSA profits drop 36% for first 9 months of 2021

Telecom Zain KSA profits drop 36% for first 9 months of 2021
  • The decline is due to a 1 percent drop in revenue, as well as rising revenue costs by 19 percent, the company said in a bourse filing. 

DUBAI: Saudi telecom firm Zain KSA posted a net profit of SR143 million ($38.1 million) in the first nine months of 2021, a 36 percent drop from the same period last year. 

The decline is due to a 1 percent drop in revenue, as well as rising revenue costs by 19 percent, the company said in a bourse filing. 

Lowering operating expenses and the results of the capital restructuring last year helped compensate for the fall, it added. 


Saudi Non-oil exports rose by 26.8 percent in August, official data shows

Saudi Non-oil exports rose by 26.8 percent in August, official data shows
Updated 11 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Non-oil exports rose by 26.8 percent in August, official data shows

Saudi Non-oil exports rose by 26.8 percent in August, official data shows

CAIRO: Saudi Arabian non-oil exports rose by 26.8 percent in August from a year ago, according to the General Authority of Statistics (GASTAT).


Iraq, Saudi ACWA Power close to signing a solar energy agreement

Iraq, Saudi ACWA Power close to signing a solar energy agreement
Updated 23 min 2 sec ago

Iraq, Saudi ACWA Power close to signing a solar energy agreement

Iraq, Saudi ACWA Power close to signing a solar energy agreement
  • The ministry said it is close to signing the agreement with the Saudi utility company to generate 1,000 megawatts of solar power in the Najaf Governorate.

CAIRO: Iraq is in advanced discussions to establish a solar energy project with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the oil ministry announced on its Facebook page. 

The ministry said it is close to signing the agreement with the Saudi utility company to generate 1,000 megawatts of solar power in the Najaf Governorate.


US records second-highest deficit of $2.77tn 

US records second-highest deficit of $2.77tn 
Updated 25 October 2021

US records second-highest deficit of $2.77tn 

US records second-highest deficit of $2.77tn 
  • In September, the budget deficit hit $62 billion, compared to a $125 billion deficit a year earlier and market expectations of a $60 billion gap

The US budget deficit in the fiscal year 2021 recorded the second-highest deficit ever compared to $ 3.132 trillion recorded in 2020, where the deficit for 2021 reached $ 2.772 trillion.

Revenue jumped 18.3 percent to $ 4.046 trillion amid higher income taxes on individuals and businesses due to the economy's recovery. In contrast, expenses rose by 4.1 percent to $6.818 trillion due to continued spending to counter the devastating effects of the global pandemic.

In September, the budget deficit hit $62 billion, compared to a $125 billion deficit a year earlier and market expectations of a $60 billion gap. 

The smallest budget gap since January 2020, with revenue growing 23.1 percent to $460 billion while expenses only increased 4.7 percent to $521 billion.

Too early to raise US interest rates 

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said it is early to increase borrowing rates risking slow economic recovery, in spite of a risk that high inflation in the United States could persist. 

"it would be premature to actually tighten policy by raising rates now with the effect and intent of slowing job growth," he said 

Policymakers are forecast to proclaim the slowdown of bond buying at the central bank's policy meeting next month. Still, the benchmark lending rate is forecast to continue at zero to the latest next year at the very least.

SAMA books $1bn net profit 

Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) recorded a net profit of SR3.8 billion ($1 billion ) at the end of the quarter, above the same period last year, by 0.6 billion. More than the average analysts' expectation on Refinitiv Eikon data of SR3.6 billion.

Russia raises interest rate

Russia's central bank increased the key interest rate above what was expected by 75 bps to 7.5 percent, from a forecast of a 50 bps increase, the highest since June 2019. That increased in the rouble and signaled increases as inflation showed little sign of slowing.

Japan’s Inflation up slightly

Japanese inflation rose for the first time in 13 months to 0.2 percent annually in September 2021 from a negative 0.4 percent in August 2021.

Eurozone inflation hit by supply shocks

Significant supply chain problems in factories have caused prices to rise that they did not see in the Eurozone twenty years ago.


US body seeks to explore more ‘green’ opportunities in KSA

US body seeks to explore more ‘green’ opportunities in KSA
Updated 25 October 2021

US body seeks to explore more ‘green’ opportunities in KSA

US body seeks to explore more ‘green’ opportunities in KSA
  • US Green Building Council plans collaboration with Saudi institutions to reduce carbon emissions

JEDDAH: The US Green Building Council plans to support the Saudi Green Initiative in terms of its goals in reduction of carbon emission, global warming, and carbon footprint, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. 

The USGBC certifies projects in Saudi Arabia under the LEED operating system (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized certification system that certifies buildings that achieve innovation in sustainability and energy efficiency, water efficiency and better indoor environment quality and better quality of life.

The system also recognizes best-in-class buildings, cities and communities “to reduce carbon emissions through the built environment, which contributes to climate change especially in carbon emissions by almost 40 percent,” Mohammed Al-Surf, regional manager of the USGBC in the Kingdom, told Arab News.

FASTFACTS

• The USGBC certifies projects in Saudi Arabia under the LEED operating system.

• The system also recognizes best-in-class buildings, cities and communities to reduce carbon emissions.

• The council is also looking toward collaborating with different institutions such as financial institutions to establish green bonds.

“Our goal is to collaborate with the SGI through different platforms and different projects like the giga-projects to help minimize their emissions and mitigate climate change,” he added.

He said the council is also looking toward collaborating with different institutions such as financial institutions to establish green bonds and green loans to stimulate the economy as well. “These green projects will have investors investing in these projects to make the environment more sustainable,” he said.

The council’s collaboration with the SGI is on a project scale; individual projects, city projects or community plan phases, as well as in terms of education and awareness and capacity-building, he said.

“We’re going to see reports from different projects on how they have achieved the objectives of the SGI through LEED certification which is the main aim of the collaboration with the USGBC,” he added.

The council has certified over 1,500 projects in the Kingdom, including well-known ones such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah, Princess Noura University campus, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Ithra museum and the masterplan for the Red Sea Development project.